[btn]By Diane Geshwind[/btn]
Continually drawn to spectacular natural surroundings, artist Mark Breithaupt and his wife selected the area adjacent to the North Mountain Preserve as the place to call home.
Inspired and grounded by the beauty and tranquility of the Sonoran desert and surrounding mountains, Breithaupt applies his artistic talent to the creation of unique rock sculptures, fountains, and water features, combining the natural splendor of the native rocks with an artistic flair.
Breithaupt’s first sculptures were fountains designed as landscaping features using schist and granite—native rocks found locally. Over time, his work evolved into pieces of sculpture with a water component, rather than fountains, and then to sculptures in and of themselves.
This evolution led Breithaupt to expand his medium to include stones from around the world, including onyx, marbles, travertine, sandstone, calcite, alabasters, and soapstone. His carvings explore each stone type to uncover its unique qualities.
Breithaupt’s work encompasses a variety of abstract styles including mixed media, stainless steel, stone, and most recently, amber onyx. His work has evolved to include functional art pieces such as amber onyx lighting cylinders, bookends, and wine holders. With the recent move to a larger shop on Hatcher Road, he is now adding larger functional art pieces to his catalogue, including stone shelving and table designs.
“I like to push the limits of the material whenever possible to uncover each stone’s unique personality,” Breithaupt explains. “My sculptures start out as mental images put to paper, but my philosophy is that the stone gets the ultimate glory. I use my tools to discover it’s most natural expression in the context of my vision.”
Breithaupt opened his workshop in unit #26 at 1217 W. Hatcher Road in 2008. He initially selected the Hatcher location because it was close to his home but has since become a proponent of the area. So, when he decided it was time to move into a larger location with more workshop space and room for a gallery, he looked no further than across the driveway, to unit #7.
Breithaupt says, “I like it here. The location is safe and secure, I have good neighbors and a good management company.”
Stop by to meet Breithaupt and enjoy the collection at Desert Rock Creations Gallery, which is open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, or by appointment by calling 602-515-7810.
Editor’s note: This article is reprinted with permission from the Hatcher Happenings newsletter.
Good day, are you still carving? I live on the West side of Phoenix and would love to check out your operation. I have cut stones from all over the world and just started playing with carving onyx. Have a great day!